January Book Reviews

Happy February folks!

So bad news is that I got a terrible chicken-pox-like virus and have been stuck at home for weeks. Good news though is that being stuck in quarantine gave me way more time for reading than I normally have. So here’s to the first rapid-fire reviews of 2017!

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Read it? Read it.

A coming-of-age story thats full of the eccentricities of a small Southern town, where three friends struggle being outcasts in their own homes and community. Genuine characters with real flaws and lovable traits. Had my issues with it at times, but overall, a good one to add to your shelf.

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipota and Dhonielle Clayton 

Read it? If drama’s your cup of tea. 

A little bit Gossip Girl, a little bit Pretty Little Liars, Tiny Pretty Things follows the drama, mystery and brutal competition that exist in a prestigious Ballet Academy class. Well-written and definitely intriguing, I enjoyed the read, but it could be slow at times. By the end of the novel, not much was resolved and we aren’t left with much progression in terms of characters or plot. I just wish more had happened. This first book seemed like a really long introduction to the cast and setting. Points for having a diverse set of complex female characters though.

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Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Read it? Meh.

A love story that happens to involve interdimensional travel. The prequel had me disappointed with the lack of adventure and intense focus on the love triangle. BUT I did like Theo and Paul and Marguerite, so I picked up the sequel, hoping that going in with the right expectations would make this book more enjoyable for me. It is definitely action-packed and the plot progresses much further beyond the love story in this one. My main issues were one, how unlikeable Marguerite is, and two, how similar it is to the first one. Marguerite is judgmental and whiny and so very woe-is-me throughout this book. Not to mention her narration is a constant repeat of the same few thoughts over and over.  The formula here is almost identical to the first with Marguerite and Theo chasing Paul through various dimensions. Despite the fact that I love all the elements of this series, it continues to be underwhelming for me and I’m still on the fence about picking up the next one.

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Read it? Skip.

Trigger warnings all over this book. Bullying, rape, suicide, if any of those things are triggers for you, stay away. I wanted to be moved by this book, but I just wasn’t. It seemed like a bullet point list for Hannah’s suicide rather than a real treatment of the mental illnesses surrounding suicidal behavior. There were a lot of complex issues brought up and glossed over that would have benefited from better treatment. It’s interesting that this book is being turned into an MTV series and I’m hoping we don’t get a glamourized version of suicide.

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The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Read it? Sure, go for it. 

I was a pretty big fan of The Young Elites. Letting Adelina become the villain turned the story from an otherwise common fantasy hero story into something much more intriguing. This sequel, while it wasn’t mind-blowingly,  was a solid follow-up. Marie Lu seems to consistently do a good job of balancing character and plot development across her books and this one is no different. Adelina’s descent into the dark is believable and at times chilling. While I feel like toppling a government regime should be a lot more difficult than what happens here, this was nonetheless an entertaining read.

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Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Read it? Hard pass.

So this was smut. How did I get tricked into reading high-school erotica? I feel like I’m in the minority here since this book got some pretty remarkable reviews. But the center of this whole story is sex and quite frankly, there’s a good amount of sexual harassment that happens here. The Royal brothers do a lot of rather creepy things and our main love interest, Reed, says some rapey shit. At the end of the day, not much happens. For me, this book fails as a contemporary teen story and as a romance.

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